Well, no I don’t think that He did! He didn’t say that in Exodus. I would print the verses here, but it would only make this post long, so read Exodus 23:20 to 32.
These are the words of God and He does not say kill anyone. He also does not say destroy the cities. The only thing God said destroy were the gods of the people that lived in the land, His land, which He gave to Israel. If I were to interject my feelings into this command it would be that the gods made by man should be destroyed by man. They are too defiled for me to ask God to destroy.
Anyway, no one had to die! The closest God said about destroying the people was when He said, “I will hand over to you the people who live in the land and you will drive them out before you”, but even then He did not say slay them, only drive them out. No women or children had to die, they didn’t even have to suffer stings from the hornets, because when the men left they would have gone with them.
Now when we read Deuteronomy 7:16 Moses said, “You must destroy all the peoples the LORD your God gives over to you”, but God did not say that. If Moses had remembered what God had said or if he believed God then he would not have said that.
It seems to me just another case of God being blamed for what man does. If God wanted to destroy men to protect Israel He is quite capable of the deed Himself. He demonstrated that when He destroyed the army of Pharaoh.
Israel, just like the people of today, had to take things into their own hands and defile what God planed for them.
I am purposely not going to study any farther on this subject now. If you see some place in the Bible where God told Israel to destroy the people and or the cities please write a comment. This is supposed to be a Bible study, so if you really want to study I think this is a worthy subject. The more I learn about God the more awesome, fair, and wonderful He is shown!